Organisers of one of Germany's most popular running events the Cologne marathon provided online coverage to 25,000 viewers for the 2012 event. The 16th RheinEnergie Marathon Cologne also had 25,000 people taking part across its programme of events including junior events on the Saturday. Race day (Sunday 14 October) started with the half marathon, followed by the inline skaters and then the hand cyclists. Last up, and top of the bill, was of course the marathon.
Participants enjoyed a flat course - good for PB attempts, a relatively small field so minimal congestion; and a scenic course which included Cologne's dramatic Gothic cathedral. Viewers enjoyed great images of a fierce contest for the podium places.
2012 runners reported a well organised race, an electric atmosphere with supporters hemmed close to the runners along various parts of the course and a great selection of post race food and beer.
"The live coverage of the marathon course was a complete success," said Cologne marathon CEO Markus Frisch. "There were great images from the race, of the battle for the lead and the winning break shortly before the finish line.
"Live coverage like this was really valuable; it was widely appreciated, especially by the friends and family of all the participants. Journalists could also follow the exciting race live, including the setting of new course records."
A LiveU LU70 unit allowed webcasters Streaming Factory to follow the entire race closely using a motorcycle and cameraman, bringing close-up, visually exciting images to viewers while moving alongside the race. In addition, Streaming Factory placed cameras around the finish line and these, along with the cellular signal from the LiveU unit, were switched onsite and streamed via Livestream's CDN.
Streaming Factory covered not only the contests involving the elite performers but also the drama and emotion down the field as recreational runners battled to complete the demanding 26.2 distance.
For the record it was a Kenya-Ethiopia one-two in both men and women's events with Alfred Kering (2:07:37) finishing two seconds ahead of Limenih Getachew, although there was two minutes between Helena Kiprop and Shetaye Bedasa.
Online registration for the 2013 event on 13 October is open and early bird rates are available until 31 December.